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Banning hookahs will force 1500 establishments to close


Pursuant to the decision by the Follow-Up Committee for Covid-19 Prevention Measures to ban shisha in touristic establishments (, the Union of Touristic Syndicates condemned the request describing it as discretionary targeting businesses which are in full observation of seating capacity and related precautionary directions. This inconsiderate request, the Union maintained, threatens with closure around 1500 establishments and the dismissal of thousands of workers. It also denounced the decision allowing so-called hookah delivery services which is still effective, in addition to the crowding in other sectors without minimal compliance by coronavirus preventive advices. The Union appealed to the above committee to rethink its decision, stressing that touristic institutions respect and strictly observe the tobacco control, No Smoking Law No. 174 that bans smoking in public places. Similarly, the president of the Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafes, Night-Clubs and Patisseries, Toni Rami, decried the calamitous economic situation in the country which cannot put up with any shutdown, namely in the faltering tourism sector. This, Rami stated, enforces compliance with social distancing and hygiene guidance in touristic establishments and during events, similar to social gatherings at home, calling for stricter inspection and control by concerned public departments and greater awareness by people. In a related development, chairperson of the landmark Chtaura Park Hotel, Rita Khoury, denied news of a projected closure, saying the decision was temporary during the coronavirus pandemic. (Al Diyar, July 16, 2020)

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